Navy Carrier Built For F-35s Is Done Being Rebuilt So That It Can Operate F-35s

Photo via US Navy
Photo via US Navy

The USS America, a Gator Navy amphibious assault ship built specifically to accommodate Marine Corps F-35Bs, has just left port for sea trials after having to be overhauled for ten months immediately following its original introduction into the fleet due to issues over carrying the aircraft it was designed for.

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The USS America already had its well deck, used for launching and recovering hovercraft and beach landing ships for ambibous operations, omitted in its design to focus on aviation capabilities. In other words, it is an aircraft carrier not an amphibious assault ship.

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The main problem is that the ship was concurrently designed and built long before the F-35B was tested, under parameters that were totally bogus. It ends up that its deck cannot accommodate the extreme temperatures and force of the F-35B’s exhaust during heavy operations. This was just one of the many other necessary modifications that had to be retrofitted after the ship hit the seas. You can read all about this ridiculous situation in this past Foxtrot Alpha feature.

The next ship in the America class, the USS Tripoli will also need similar deck modifications. The third ship in the America class will have its well deck restored and will not need modifications to its deck to operate F-35Bs. The USS Tripoli is slated to enter service in 2024.

Let’s hope they got it right this time.

Photo via US Navy
Photo via US Navy
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Editor, Foxtrot Alpha

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Triborough
Triborough

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.” -Dwight D. Eisenhower